No, this is not our cowboy hero, just a fun pic I found.
Howls and yowls, shapeshifter lovers.
Apologies for the late posting, but it just can't be helped given my current schedule.
Hope you had a memorable and fun St. Paddy's day. This flash scene touches on Pat Cunningham's holiday flash from yesterday.
The Knight Cowboy Rescues a Maiden in Distress
Zakary Dumond touched his heel to Sidewinder, his immortal paint stallion, and they entered the silvery gray whirl of the time-point portal. He was on a mission of mercy.
Long ago, after a cattle drive to Wichita, Kansas, he'd gotten good and inebriated while doin' some fine celebrating with the other cowhands at a particularly routy saloon. He'd ducked out once the fists, bottles, and glasses started flying.
Cursing as he struggled to mount his horse, he'd finally hauled himself into the saddle. Not wanting to spend a nickel on room and board, he'd set out for the campsite. Given most of his pay still jangled in his pocket, he clutched the butt of his pistol as he swayed precariously.
Zak planned on finding a sweet plot of ground, and starting up a dairy farm. The derisive laughter still rang in his ears, since he'd mistakenly confided his ambitions. But, hell, he'd had enough of eating dust, and chasing cattle through hide-ripping brush.
Even though the nearly full moon lit his way, Zak never made it to the campsite. He'd been about to fall out of the saddle, grabbing for his horse's mane, when a heavy mist formed like a specter coming for his soul. Well, dang, it had appeared like a regular mist, but held not an ounce of moisture as he recalled.
In the blink of his admittedly bleary eye, Zak had been trapped in this strange gray tunnel moving like liquid around him. Stories told to him by an elderly Indian medicine man flashed into his head. A gateway to other times, other worlds.
Yep, and here he was, the cowboy dimensional traveler, as the Guides fondly referred to him. Zak had undergone rigorous training like the Knights of old. Heckfire, he'd jousted with the Knights in the Irish realm as he thought of it, and done himself right proud.
Hence, he'd been summoned by the Celtic King. During the Spring Fire Ceremony his eldest daughter, Khyleara, had been lured through the dimensional veil by the lilting lovely notes of a flute -- given her natural ability to slip into other worlds.
Before traveling the tunnel to rescue her, Zak had seen glimpses of the shapeshifter enclave -- a town with the handle, Talbot's Peak, located in the state of Montana in the year 2014. With a fair number of ranches in the area, and the Western culture still strong, he'd fit right in as a cowboy.
Sidewinder snorted and tossed his head as they emerged from the fogs of time. Zak took a moment, breathing in the familiar scents of pine, of the surrounding land now awakening from a long winter's sleep. Isolated, Talbot's Peak sat between forested mountains and great stretches of prairie.
Spotting the well-worn trail leading to town, Zak touched Sidewinder's neck with the reins. The stallion stepped into a fast walk, his nose to the brisk winds.
"Yeehaawww!" ... “Erin go broke!” Wild roaring whoops followed, and Zak instantly reined Sidewinder to the side of the trail. Just in time, as two oddly dressed riders on bright green horses galloped by. The smell of beer, of tiger, and magick plowed into Zak's nostrils.
"Come on, stranger," one of the young tiger-men of East Indian descent hollered. "We're rescuing maidens in distress."
Smiling despite himself, Zak loped Sidewinder in their wake. Why not? He figured -- like he'd been informed by the Guides -- that the two youths were celebrating the holiday, St. Patrick's day.
Zak took real serious note on the magick used to turn their horses temporarily green. An ancient Egyptian potion, if he wasn't mistaken. Careful to keep a tight rein on the eager stallion, he stayed a distance behind, so the fumes couldn't alter Sidewinder's coloring.
Maidens in distress? As Zak understood the 'wearing of the green' celebratin' in these times, there were colorful, outlandish parades, drunken singing and brawls, often into the wee hours of the morning...but no games where fair maidens were rescued.
Heck though, chowin' down on corn beef and cabbage, on boiled potatoes, Zak could almost taste it. 'Cause he'd never lost his taste for this realm's food.
The sudden burn against his chest where he'd pocketed Khyleara's jeweled ring, put Zak on immediate alert. She was close. As a child, Khyleara's energy force had been bonded to the ring's gems, and crystalline structure.
Letting Sidewinder gallop behind the still 'whooping it up' tiger-men, Zak scanned for the faint, diamond sparkling beam of light that would lead him to Khyleara. The strength of the burn, not only told him she remained nearby, but that she hadn't been harmed in any significant way.
Mighty relieved, Zak lasered his focus, trusting the paint to keep his stride steady. Renowned for her warrioress prowess, Khyleara would not be easy prey. 'Though, her disappearance had been darn mysterious. Even the Seers failed to picture the sinister flute player.
The clash of long blades suddenly echoed from the forest depths. Zak touched a knee to Sidewinder, sending him off the trail, and onto a downslope where the trees thinned. The stallion picked up speed yet kept his footing over the ground where remnants of snow still remained.
The sight that met Zak's gaze had him hauling back on the reins, and blinking for an instant. Khyleara battled an invisible enemy, her blade whipping and flashing in strikes and countermoves. Glints of sunlight changed so swiftly, Zak could barely follow the moves of her favored weapon.
"Save yourself, Knight Cowboy," she hollered, then whirled from her fearsome foe. Her bare toes skimmed the ground, and her fiery red tresses spun in long ropes.
From the corner of his eye, Zak glimpsed a watery form in the shape of a Phovus giant. Knowing it was now or never, he fast-drew his sorcery-infused sidearm, and signaled Sidewinder by leaning forward.
The stallion leaped, charging toward Khyleara. Zak took his only shot. The magickally altered lead bullet struck the giant's forehead, and he started to materialize.
With a hideous, ear-splitting howl, the Phovus thundered after Khyleara just as Zak leaned to one side. Gripping Sidewinder with only his thighs, Zak caught hold of Khyleara's waist, and swooped the fully naked woman up before him.
Given her natural athleticism, Khyleara seated herself clinging to him in a way that didn't hamper their escape. Once the stallion galloped along the trail, and the giant's pursuit ceased, Zak quipped, "It looks as though this is the day to rescue maidens in distress."
"I am not distressed. Not in the least," Khyleara sharply corrected, her tone affronted.
Zak merely grinned, and did some fine enjoyin' of her naked charms pressed so tightly against him.
Have a Magickal Shapeshifting Week...
Savanna Kougar ~ Run on the Wild Side of Romance